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God's power shall chain the sinner to his bar while the great trial is pending, and while his flaming eyes dart through him, rending his soul with bitterest anguish; it shall prevent the rocks and mountains from falling on him, and hiding him from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; it shall set fire to this world in which he has lived in wantonness; it shall change his material into a spiritual body, possess. ing new susceptibilities for suffering, and an unthoughtof ability of enduring the whole weight of his anger; it shall stamp upon it the impress of eternity—an impress which neither suffering nor anguish can efface-and bid it live for ever with its immortal companion, the sinful soul. God's omnipotence shall put into full and terrible execution the sentence which his justice shall pronounce. It shall drive the sinner from hope and mercy, and give him over to despair-to "weeping and gnashing of teeth" -to "the worm that dieth not." "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," because that God is omnipotent. There can be no resistance, no escape for ever and ever. But I leave this topic; it is too awful tò dwell upon longer. Yet, O! let us ask ourselves in passing, If the mere thought of this suffering be so painful, what must be the suffering itself?


IV. “ It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," because there will be then nothing to prevent the full exercise of his infinite holiness, justice, and power against The Bible nowhere gives us any ground to infer that there will be any other state of probation than that which this life secures. On the contrary, it authorizes us to believe that death ends our probation, and that our accounts will then be sealed up to the judgment of the great day. Then he that is unjust will be unjust still and he that is filthy will be filthy still: and he that is righteous will be righteous still and he that is holy will be holy still. At

that day we shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body. The body we shall leave in the grave, there to slumber till the resurrection morning; and when that morning shall dawn upon us, the dispensation of mercy as it respects the whole human family will be closed for ever. Yes, the apostle assures us that the Saviour will then resign his mediatorial office, and deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father.

The dispensation of mercy having past, that of justice will follow; for this, the dispensation of rewards and punishments, the revelator assures us, will open with the dawning of the resurrection. God shall then "reward every man according to his works." Mercy can no longer interfere, and justice knows no mercy. The blessed Saviour has hitherto acted as our intercessor before the throne of his Father, but he can do so no longer. When the arm of justice was uplifted to destroy us, he interposed and cried, Spare them, Father, yet a little longer. Yea, he himself bore our griefs and carried our sorrows, but he can do so no more for ever. There is no longer any days-man between the sinner and his God, who can lay his hand upon them both. No, his meek, forgiving, interceding Jesus is now transformed into a Judge, stern and inflexible. "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." Yes, the Mediator's character is lost in that of the Judge, and God is not now "in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself," but is " a consuming fire."

The dispensation of mercy having ended, and that of justice having opened; the Mediator having resigned his office, and God having assumed all his severity; what shall prevent the full exercise of his holiness, justice, and omnipotence? What shall prevent our drinking of "the

wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation?" O! it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a holy, a just, an omnipotent, and unchanging God. These his attributes, while they comprise every circumstance which can render the happiness of the blessed desirable, comprise every circumstance which can render the misery of the lost indescribably awful. "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

Christian brethren, are these things so? Is it really true that all these things are in reserve for that day, "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ?" Yes, we profess to believe it, frightful and appalling as it is. What, then, are we doing? Are we praying for sinners who are exposed to all this weight of wo? Are we exhorting them to flee from the wrath to come? Do we feel for them any of that compassion which Jehovah felt when he forsaw the wickedness and misery of Israel, and cried out, "O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end?" O! let us be up and doing, working while the day lasts. We may, if faithful, be instrumental in plucking one brand from the everlasting burnings. How laudable the object! How worthy our constant and untiring exertions!

Impenitent friends, we have no other motive in preaching to you "the terror of the Lord" than a desire to persuade you to be reconciled to God. Far more pleasant would it be for us to exhibit to you his unbounded condescension, his surpassing kindness, and his infinite love. We sometimes endeavour to place before you these attributes in all their loveliness, that you may be induced to love him who has first loved you. But, alas! these in

ducements frequently fail to produce in you a change from sin to holiness, from hatred to love. Still it would be more pleasant for us to dwell upon such topics alone, were it consistent with our duty to ourselves, our God, and you. But we must warn the wicked of his danger, that his blood be not required at our hands. We must not hesitate "to declare unto you all the counsel of God," as far as it is revealed unto us, that God may appear just and holy in all his ways. We must "set before you life and death, blessing and cursing," that you may not rise up in the judgment, and point at us your finger, and say, "You did not warn me! You did not warn me!" We preach to you in kindness, though we must preach to you plainly. We realize, in some degree, your awful danger of falling into the hands of the living God, and we feel for you. Yes, the church feels for you. O! will you feel for yourselves? Will you think of these things? Will you lay your plans for death and judgment? Will you live and act for eternity, as well as for time? Will you flee from the wrath to come? Blessed be God, you are still in a state of probation, your day of grace has not yet past, the door of mercy is still open. O run! run for your life! Enter in, and be saved from falling into the hands of the living God!




SUCH was the language of Moses when commanded to go before the tribes of Israel to the promised land. He had but recently descended the awful mount where he had received the law, and held communion with Jehovah. The Israelites, having grown impatient at his delay, had revolted from God. The painful news had been communicated to him by God, joined with fearful intimations of coming vengeance. Grief and anger swelled the bosom of Moses, and he felt that he was the shepherd of a wandering, wayward flock. The sons of Levi alone gathered around him, and, by divine command, went forth to the slaughter of Israel. But rivers of blood could not wash away the sin, nor appease God's anger. He issued the order, "Depart, and go up henee," &c., Exod. xxxiii, 1-3. Well might Moses hesitate and inquire, "Wherein shall it be known here, that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us?" Exod. xxxiii, 16, saying, "If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence." The Christian minister may with propriety adopt this language as he goes to the field of labour which Providence has assigned to him. This will appear obvious if you consider,

I. The nature of the work which he is called to perform. He is sent not to instruct men in the arts or sciences, not to lead them through the green paths of literature, or the stormy scenes of political life. These he might engage in with no fears, and pursue without divine assist

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